Game: Erado

Project Leads: Justin Lynch (Project Lead), Aaron Sagan (Design Lead), Luke Gamble (Lead Artist), Zach Ellsbury (Lead Programmer)
Artists: Li Fan, Priscilla Landerer
Producers/Designers: Bryan Hossack, Geoff Sholler
Programmers: Valmín Miranda, Wyck Hebert
Tools: Unreal Development Kit – UnrealScript, Kismet
Project length: 7 weeks (Finished 02/25/11)

Erado was one of the capstone projects I worked on during my time at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA). During the 7 week pre-production phase, our team designed and prototyped the core mechanics and systems of the game to create a “vertical slice” of our vision for the game. This vertical slice was then presented to industry execs and the FIEA faculty, along with four other competing projects, in the hopes of being green-lit to take the game to full completion over the following 6 months.

Erado is a game centered around a small, unnamed girl whose homeland is invaded by a technological Empire who subjugates all those they conquer.  Separated from her parents and entering a deep depression, she is slated to be executed. At her execution, she closes her eyes, and with her last thought, wishes that something or someone could make all of her misery disappear.  Unbeknownst to her, she involuntarily summons a demon of destruction, who frees her from her captors in exchange for becoming soulbound to one another.  Together, they seek out the girl’s parents; the girl hoping to reunite with those whom she loves the most and the demon encouraging her as a means of destroying the earthly world he has long been without.

As the lead programmer for the project, I took on a number of responsibilities, including:

  • Design and implementation of the environment deformation
  • Design and implementation of the girl’s companion AI system
  • Overview on development of enemy AI and an on-rails cinematic camera system
  • Management of a 4-person technical team (2 programmers, 2 technical producers)
  • Collaboration with Art team to improve integration of assets with the environment deformation system
  • Advising Design team on technical implications of various game design ideas

Our team put together a great vertical slice of our vision for Erado. However, the project was not chosen to be green-lit, with the judging panel stating that the technical demands of our art pipeline would require more artists than they could afford to assign to the team. While unfortunate, having my project cut was also a unique learning experience, allowing me to see the darker sides of game development without putting my job at risk.